Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Heron Guard Tournament

"Then he told me that next year the Heron Guard will be reinstating the septannual tournament to fill out their ranks. Men of bravery and warriors of renown from every corner of the empire will gather to compete for the honor of joining them."
-Myth II: Soulblighter

Starting in 2542 A.E., the Heron Guard have hosted a tournament every seven years in order to see who is worthy of recruitment. The next tournament will be held in 2843 A.E.

Anyone is welcome to apply, with the exception of those who have been found guilty of certain crimes like murder and treason. All Journeymen are expected to compete at least one in their lifetime, although there is not considered to be any shame in failing to make the cut. Thousands of others, generally Legion members, guards, and mercenaries, also flock to Muirthemne to compete in each tournament. No dwarves, fir'Bolg, or mages have ever won a spot in the Heron Guard, mostly because very few have ever competed, but there is technically no rule against such people joining the tournament.

Before the original transformation of the Heron Guard into Journeymen and the resulting dissolution of the tournament tradition, legend has it that only six or less people were actually chosen to join the ranks of the Heron Guard at the end of each tournament. Now that the tournaments have been reinstated, the average number of successful inductees has risen to an average of 100 per tournament, not counting a few even greater numbers in the first few tournaments of Emperor Alric's reign. With an empire to rebuild, and myrkridia, undead, and other dangerous beings infesting the wilds, more members were sorely needed.

The exact number of battles that one must win in order to join the Heron Guard varies depending on the number of entrants in the tournament and a set of esoteric rules enforced by the judges. Only the Emperor has the right to overrule the judges on any ruling in the tournament.

Perhaps the number one incentive for joining the Heron Guard is the promise of eternal life. They say that the first time any Jarl Root is used on a new member of the Heron Guard, that person becomes immortal. Violence can still kill the Heron Guard, of course, but death by old age is no longer a concern of theirs.

The tournament is a series of one-on-one battles. In the arena, the following rules apply:
  1. All fights are one-on-one only.
  2. Combatants must fight until one of them yields or can no longer fight, but not to the death if it can be helped. Leaving the arena during the fight counts as yielding. Cheating counts as yielding. Dying accidentally counts as yielding. Killing one's opponent on purpose counts as yielding, and the killed combatant will be posthumously inducted into the Heron Guard. Ties are decided by the judges.
  3. Only leather or chainmail armor is allowed. Fighting unarmored is also permitted.
  4. No magical weapons, armor, items, or spells are permitted inside the arena.
  5. No items or equipment other than basic clothing, one or two weapons (per combatant), armor, and/or a shield (in place of one weapon per combatant) are permitted inside the arena. Exceptions may only be authorized by the judges ahead of time on the basis of medical needs.
  6. No more than two weapons (including a shield) are permitted inside the arena (artificial limbs, for example).
  7. No poisons or unauthorized drugs or medicines are permitted inside the arena.
To determine one's competition in any given battle in the arena, roll on the following tables.

Opponent's Level (d20)
1 Roll on the Low Level Table below.
2-5 Level 7
6-9 Level 8
10-12 Level 9
13-15 Level 10
16-17 Level 11
18-19 Level 12
20 Level 13

Low Level Table (d20)
1-3 Level 1
4-6 Level 2
7-9 Level 3
10-12 Level 4
13-16 Level 5
17-20 Level 6

Opponent's Weaponry (d20)
1-10 Twin Longswords
11-14 Longsword and Shield
15-17 Greatsword or Greataxe
18-20 Polearm

Opponent's Armor (d10)
1-7 Chainmail
8-9 Leather
10 Roll 1d10 again. If the result is another 10, the opponent wears no armor. Otherwise, the opponent wears Leather.

Is the Opponent Cheating? (d100)
1-99 No
100 Yes. The DM decides how.

Roll 3d6 three times to determine the Constitution, Dexterity, and Strength scores of the opponent.

Any character who joins the Heron Guard changes their class to Journeyman. They retain their level of experience and gain all of the abilities of a Journeyman of the proper level, but forfeit all of their previous class abilities. They also gain an amount of additional experience equal to one-fourth (round down) of their current experience and three points to allocate to the ability score(s) of their choice. Once a spell is cast on the character from a Jarl Root, the character will no longer physically age. That last sentence may or may not be partially or completely true, at the DM's discretion, but if it is true for one member of the Heron Guard than it is true for all of them.

No comments:

Post a Comment